Longhorns dominate Pickens; advance to state championship

10-13-15 -- Linden, Ala. -- Pickens Academy QB Ryan Harcrow (22) is tackled by Marengo Academy's Caleb Broadhead (15) and Robert Tutt (12) during Friday's game against Pickens Academy in Linden, Ala.. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

10-13-15 — Linden, Ala. — Pickens Academy QB Ryan Harcrow (22) is tackled by Marengo Academy’s Caleb Broadhead (15) and Robert Tutt (12) during Friday’s game against Pickens Academy in Linden, Ala.. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

For the second time this season, the Marengo Academy Longhorns proved to be too much for the Pirates of Pickens Academy as they sent the Pirates packing 48-7 Friday in Linden.

“They deserve it,” said Marengo head coach Webb Tutt of his team’s effort this season getting them back to Troy for the AISA state championship game. “They’ve done everything we’ve asked of them and I just couldn’t be happier.”

Andrew Martin opened the scoring of the Longhorns when he reeled in a 60-yard touchdown pass from Robert Tutt. Martin would go on to have two catches for 91 yards on the night. With 8:30 left in the first, Martin, along with Tutt’s PAT, made it 7-0.

With 1:20 to go in the first, Hayden Huckabee broke loose on a 31-yard run. The Tutt PAT made it 14-0.

Pickens Academy first and only score of the night came at the 8:13 mark in the second quarter when Chance Britt pulled in a 5-yard pass from quarterback Brant Criswell. This was the first time this season that Pickens was able to score on a first team Longhorns defense.

After a holding call set the Longhorns up with a first and 20, Huckabee again found an opening and took it 74-yards for a touchdown. The Tutt PAT set them up 21-7. Huckabee would go on to touch the ball 12 times for 173 yards on the night.

He again put points on the board with 2:04 remaining in the half when he found the end zone on a 23-yard rush, putting the ‘Horns up 27-7.

It appeared as though that would be all the scoring in the first half for the Longhorns until Weldon Aydelott intercepted Picken’s Criswell and took it 42 yards for six. After a missed PAT on the previous score, offensive coordinator Woodie Beck opted to go for two. The Longhorns converted and went into the half with a comfortable 35-7 lead over the Pirates.

Robert Tutt punched it in on a quarterback sneak from the 1-yard line. His PAT was good and the ‘Horns went up 42-7 with 7:19 to go in the third. Tutt went 3 of 4 for 112 yards in the contest.

Zac Murphy recovered a Picken’s fumble on the Pickens 10-yard line with 7:00 remaining in the third. Two plays later, Murphy found his team in a second-and-goal position from the 15 and took it in for six. Tutt punctuated the Longhorn scoring for the night with a successful PAT, and with 6:23 to play in the third, the Longhorns led 48-7.

Coach Webb Tutt opted to use the remainder of the game to rotate in some of his second team, allowing them to gain some experience.

“We thought we could line up and move them off the ball, but they packed everybody in the box so we had to come out and throw it,” said Tutt, of his team’s plan for the game. “We converted some big third-and-long conversions, one for a first down and one for a touchdown, and that got us up, but then they scored and got back in the game. The pick-six right there before the half just kind of broke their back I think.”

Leading the Longhorns on defense was Cason Cook with 9 tackles and Thomas Etheridge with 8. Offensively, the Longhorns posted 414 total yards to Picken’s 137. The Longhorns did not punt on the night. The ‘Horns were penalized four times for 45 yards, while Picken’s saw three penalties for 37 yards.

With the win, Marengo travels to Troy, Ala., next Friday to face Edgewood Academy in the AISA Class AA State Championship Game.

“Believe it or not, we did not put the cart before the horse,” said Tutt, referring to his preparation plans for next week’s game. “I’ll get up early in the morning and start breaking Edgewood down, but I can tell you now that I know we’ll have to play our best football to beat them.”

Marengo and Edgewood will kickoff Friday, Nov. 20 at 3:30 p.m. on the campus of Troy University.